Recently i've really stepped up my playing to about three solid hours a night, and since then i've been getting seriously stiff hands and fingers the next day. This of course is consistent with heavy muscle usage. i'm wondering if anyone else gets that? how you deal with it? Yesterday night i warned down after my playing by just playing slow major scales, and today my hands feel a bit better but still very stiff. As i work in the day i cannot just start playing bass again the next morning, so i suffer with stiff fingers most of the day until i can get back on the bass later..

Maybe there are some exercises you can do? I do some finger stretching but it doesnt help much.
As far as I know its not really heavy muscle usage.
The "control wires" for your fingers go from the arm through a very small area in the wrist to the fingers, and if you overdo the finger movements this small area can become inflamed and give pains in the arm and stiffness. It happens with computer users also.

Someone on the forum should have the correct exercises that work. Myself I just do pressups and pull ups to get the major muscles in the arms stretched and to burn the stress out. Not scientific but it works for me.
Hmmm, that's more like RSI, but this is not RSI. I think it's heavy muscle usage. Remember, your fingers have muscles too, which are used exclusively when fretting. I work out every day in the gym so i am very fit, but this stifness is only in my hands.. not my arms..
I don't get that kind of finger stiffness because I am playing light strings on the electric guitar. I only get that when I do some real physical work like digging or home improvements.
I guess bass players need more finger muscle strength to play the heavier strings. I don't know what you can do for that. It must be common problem with bass players so someone on the forum will have answers.
I also get stiffness in the fingers(especially the knuckles),wrist and elbows when I play too long. I ice down my wrists and elbows after long practices and it helps. You should also strech(sp?) your arms and wrists before playing.Bend one of your wrists with your other hand down and extend your arm all the way. Than bend your wrist upward by pushing your fingers back and again extend your arm. I hope I was able to explain it so people can understand. If not than buy John Pettrucci's instructional video and he tells how to do the exercises.
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No no... seriously guys, it's nothing like that. Who here works out in the gym? Well when you've done a proper session, the next day you wake up and your muscles ache because you've exerted them, and then they've gone to a rest position overnight. so they feel all stiff until you start working them again or leave it a few days.. I'm pretty sure it's just that, but i'd like to know how to beat it.. i guess the more i play for this length of time every night the better it will get.. but if anyhone has any exercises i would love to hear. I warm up always, and as i said i've recently been warmning down as well?
ya, you might want to try to space out your sit downs for when you practice. Cause i work out at the gym and i notice if i go there the day after i worked out, its not a good idea. You might want to either slowly drift into 3 hours a night, so your not shocking your body, or do like 3 hours one night, 2 the next, and slowly increase the second day until your hands get used to it.
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I used to get really stiff hands after practicing all day and then playing a show. It was terrible for the gig. I started taking anti-inflammatory medication before shows, and I haven't had problems since.
i think a more natural way of doing it would be better, because then you dont have to depend on the pill, the last thing you want is to have a chick come up and be like "wow me" and then say "wait till the pill kicks in baby"
Fender Jazz -> Line 6 Bass Podxt Live -> SWR Working Man

I know you like it
^lol. Yeah, I can play without them, it's just that live it keeps my hands form cramping up.
LOL. The guitarist will have her away in no time! Today i have been playing air bass at my desk at work. Just fingering my fave tunes on my desk and has helped a bit. Just need to keep them moving i think... it's the sleep that does it. Damn sleeping, gets in the way of bass playing
ya, your not exercising your fingers then, you might want to have some kind of tenis ball or bean bag that you want handy to squeeze so that your hands can get stronger
Fender Jazz -> Line 6 Bass Podxt Live -> SWR Working Man

I know you like it
whatever floats your boat
Fender Jazz -> Line 6 Bass Podxt Live -> SWR Working Man

I know you like it